Another Slow Day with more Relaxing than Action

Friday January 31st 2020

The temperature was a few degrees cooler today, but otherwise the weather was the same as Thursday. It was another beautiful day. Tomorrow is forecast to be even warmer peaking around seventy.

I got a very slow start this morning, but the pattern was a little different. I got up before eight long enough to turn the heat up, but returned to bed while the RV warmed up. It was around ten the next time I was awake. The only problem with the late hour is it doesn’t support the things I thought about doing today. The end result was another slow day today and more things put off until another day.

Tonight’s sunset

This afternoon I setup my new towed car auxiliary brake. It’s a little more difficult to get it attached to the brake peddle, but the rest of the setup is easier. I did find that I need to run a new power line from the battery to give the brake a steady supply of power. The old one had a lower power draw. I’ll get the parts I need over the weekend.

A blossoms on one of three hushes still with blooms in the RV park.

I took two walks around the RV park. During the first walk a few sites were available, but during the second walk it looked like a full house. I didn’t think this park was impacted by weekends I thought the number of long term residents isolated it from lots of short term stays, but it clearly seems to get weekend guests. Figuring out the occupancy pattern of an RV park is confusing, but this one seems to be down right mysterious.

A Relaxing Day in the January Sun

Thursday January 30th 2020

Wednesday’s wind was a thing of the past today. There was only a gentle breeze. The sky was back to bright blue and the temperature was in the mid sixties. It was a beautiful day.

I stayed at home today waiting for an Amazon delivery. Mail and packages are delivered to the club house office every day. You can pick up items between 1PM and 5PM. Tracking my package showed it arrived around 11:30, so I drove down to pick it up around 2PM.

My new towed car auxiliary brake was there waiting for me. It will replace my 8 year old unit that is malfunctioning periodically. Getting the old unit fixed professionally required it to be shipped back to the factory. The cost was going to approach more than half the price of a new unit without any guaranty that it could be fixed. The new unit is several generations newer and should provide more reliable braking while I’m towing my Honda CR-V.

The new auxiliary brake represents one more item checked off my check list for getting back on the travel road for 2020. I started working on the list shortly after I arrived in Las Vegas, but I still have more than a dozen items on the list to complete before I depart for Arizona at the end of February. It is much easier to complete the items when I’m in one place for an extended period.

I got to sit outside and enjoy the day for a while this afternoon. The clear blue sky was interrupted by a noisy jet every now and then, but overall it was nice to enjoy the afternoon sun. I made good use of my gas grill while I was outside by cooking a couple of Brats for dinner. With plenty of sunshine and some good nourishment, it was back inside for a long dark night of watching TV.

Windy Day in Las Vegas

Wednesday January 29th 2020

It was a windy day. The TV weather talkers reported average wind speeds between 15 and 20 mph with gusts in the thirties for the Las Vegas Valley. Outside the valley the wind gusts were much higher. The day also started with a very brief shower, before the wind became dominant and the clouds cleared out. Most of the precipitation didn’t reach the ground. The mountains to the west gut a fresh dusting of snow. The temperature still managed to reach the mid sixties.

The path not taken.

I stopped in at the Clark County Wetlands Park on my way home from some wandering about the Henderson NV area. The park was quiet today. Most of the people and the wildlife were staying out of the wind. I got in a good walk and took a few pictures attempting to capture an image of the wind. Playing with my camera has become a real diversion lately.

Wind on the Palm Tree with the snow in the mountains to the west.
The wind is keeping the dry reeds bent away from the direction of the gusts.
A couple was flying a kite in the parking lot.

Back at my RV home, I have a new back neighbor for a few days. The park is filling up with people in Las Vegas for the big football game in Miami this weekend. There is an absolute obsession with avoiding the NFL trademark term “Super Bowl” in the area. The NFL got very upset a few years ago and brought legal action against groups using their trademark to make money. They were particularly concerned with casinos using the trademark. Now, even the TV sports reporters don’t use the term. I haven’t seen as strict a moratorium on using the term in other parts of the country.

The Countdown has Started

Tuesday January 28th 2020

Four weeks from tonight I will be in Arizona if all goes according to plan. The count down to the start of my 2020 travels is on. Over the next few weeks I need to accomplish the tasks I’ve been putting off and get everything ready to travel.

This morning I made reservations in Florida for the last few days of 2020 and the first ten days of 2021. I don’t have the entire year booked, but I’ve got more locked in reservations than I ever had before. On February fifth I’ll be able to book the last unbooked week in the first half of the year at a Utah State Park with a four month reservation window. My next block of open time starts at the end of July and runs through my reservation in the Florida Keys at the end of October. I really don’t like planning this far ahead. It makes spontaneity and changes difficult and potentially expensive.

My summer travels start with seven weeks in various parts of Arizona. I’ll see a few baseball spring training games in the Phoenix area followed by another visit to the Cottonwood/Sedona area and the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Continuing north as it warms up a little I’ll spend four weeks in Utah followed by three in the West Yellowstone area of Idaho and Montana. As I return south in June, I’ll spend another week in Utah followed by four weeks in Wyoming before moving south on the east side of the Rockies into Colorado in the middle of July. At that point I’ve run out of booked reservations, but plan to continue through Colorado into New Mexico in August. September should find me on an easterly course along the Interstate 40 corridor.

Tonight’s sunset

Today started and ended as a partly cloudy day. In the middle it was a cloudy day without any visible blue sky. The temperature in the valley is still running above normal around sixty five degrees. During all the changing weather I got some errands accomplished, completed a little online shopping, did a load of laundry and finished the day at Sam’s Town Casino for the senior day drawing. Of couse, I didn’t win, but it was a productive day overall.

Computer Monday

Monday January 27th 2020

I’m still in a pattern of late starts to the day. While I was awake earlier, my day didn’t start until around 10am. Breakfast and catching up on various internet information sources takes at least a couple of hours, so the daylight was more than half gone before I really began my day.

Blossom of the day.

It was a nice day. A ten to twenty mile an hour wind out of the north was an addition to the previous few days of bright sunshine. Somehow, the north wind brought additional warmth. The temperature peaked just shy of seventy.

Except for a couple of walks around the RV park, the computer caught my attention today. I used it for some travel research work, then migrated into more experiments indexing and annotating some of my many photographs. That lead to the inevitable question of “What can I do with all these pictures?” As an experiment I adjust and cropped one picture for printing. I sent it off to the local CVS for printing. I’ll pick up the print tomorrow. Right now it’s more of a curious experiment than any real plan. Maybe I’ll replace the stock artwork on my RV home wall with something from my travels.

Dragons on the Las Vegas Strip

Sunday January 26th 2020

It was another warm January day in the Las Vegas valley. Although it started cloudy and ended cloudy, the bright sunshine through the middle of the day allowed the temperature back into the upper sixties.

I hung around my RV home doing a few light chores for most of the day. Around 3PM, I needed some excitement, so I drove west and up hill a little to the Las Vegas strip. My mission was to see the Chinese New Year decorations from the center strip south. Starting with the Bellagio Conservatory, I found plenty of dragons in and around the hotel casinos. Here are some pictures of the fire breathing beasts.

A Slow Start to a Weekend Day

Saturday January 25th 2020

The Las Vegas valley’s stretch of warmer than normal days continued with a bright sunny day with the temperature in the upper half of the sixties. Even the wind that often keeps things stirred up was calm. Overall it was another beautiful weather day.

My day began slow and never really got up to speed. Late night TV watching has skewed my start to the day a couple of hours. It was afternoon before I was finished with breakfast. Of course having to bake a package of muffins for breakfast, since I was out of just about everything else of substance, helped to drag out the meal time. The first order of business for the day was a resupply mission.

There is no right time to go shopping in this town. Peoples work schedules in this heavily tourist oriented city are extremely varied. Morning, afternoon and night of everyday of the week seems to be busy at the neighborhood Walmart. This afternoon was especially busy, but I had to go. I was out of bread, milk, eggs, meat and all the stuff that ties them together. It took about two hours to get in and out of the store. The checkout line was particularly slow. I got in a lane with a checkout clerk that had to pause and discuss the merits of this or that item with every shopper. It should be another week or ten days before I need to return.

Walking around the RV park late today, I saw the usual complement of dogs getting walked or pushed in dog carriages to the dog run. Today, I saw a new pet out for a walk. A cockatoo was taking a walk on his keepers shoulder. I’ve seen a few birds in cages outside RVs and it there windows, but this is the first one I’ve seen out for a walk around an RV park. I hope it was well trained to stay with the man, since I didn’t see any signs of a restraint. A lost bird in greater Las Vegas could ruin a trip quickly.

Busy Day at Home in My RV

Friday January 24th 2020

I got a new neighbor the yesterday while I was out. When I got home yesterday evening, I started hearing their gas furnace running. The unusually load appliance sounds like a jet engine running. It managed to disrupt my sleep for quite a while last night. How they could tolerate the noise for unnecessary heat is beyond any guess I have. I woke up every time it cycled on until well into the night.

Blue sky with a few wispy clouds.

This morning shortly before 7AM, a new disturbance woke me up. The neighbors with the loud furnace were packing to depart. The good news is I won’t have to deal with the loud furnace anymore, but the noise they made packing up sure did a number on any thoughts of sleeping in. I think they slammed every door they had and ran the loud diesel truck at fast idle for half an hour. It was just another one of the things you need to deal with when staying in tight winter quarters like these.

Today’s weather was great like the last few days. The bright blue sky allowed the temperature to return to the upper sixties. Tomorrow is forecast to be a similar day with Sunday warmer with a chance of rain. It’s nothing to complain about.

I was early for the real red of the sunset tonight.

Today was occupied with various tasks around my RV home. In addition to cleaning, I also completed a couple of maintenance tasks that have cropped up. The hinges on one of my closet doors became loose preventing the door from latching correctly. The door would randomly pop open and turn on the closet light. Waking up in the middle of the night with a strange glow coming from the bedroom closet can be very disorienting. Today I adjusted and tighten each of the hinges. Everything is working now, but I suspect that I’ll need to adjust the latches as well.

Looking east at sunset.

On my walk around the RV park this evening to find a picture of the sunset for this blog, I had a pleasant observation. The days are getting longer. Sunset is more than half an hour later than near the winter solstice. The location of the sunset is also a little more to the north in the western sky. The bottom line is spring and summer are coming.

A Visit to Downtown Las Vegas

Thursday January 23rd 2020

The very nice weather trend continued today. It was bright and sunny with a high temperature in the upper half of the sixties. The TV weather reporter pronounced the day seven degrees higher than the fifty nine degree norm.

A little blossom of the day.

I made use of the Sam’s Town shuttle for another tourist mode excursion today. This time I used the shuttle to travel to downtown Las Vegas. I spent most of the afternoon wandering in and out of the casinos along Fremont Street. A few things have changed since my last visit two years ago. The hole in the ground that used to be the Las Vegas Club casino hotel is now a mass of steel work many stories high of the new Circa Casino. It will be the tallest hotel casino north of the strip when it is finished.

The shark aquarium at the Gold Nugget. The shark is at the back of the tank during this picture.

Other changes are more subtle. The interior of the California hotel and casino has been refreshed and looks more modern. I think they actually sacrificed some gaming space to accomplish the remodel. It may be just my imagination, but I think several of the casinos have removed some machines to make more open space.

The upgraded Viva Vision LED canopy is bright enough to be seen during the daylight.

Out under the Fremont Street Experience LED canopy the usual compliment of entertainers and weirdos was present. In this case a weirdo is an entrepreneur that dresses in strange or provocative attire to obtain money from tourists. The women in showgirl outfits fit the location, but who wants to have there picture taken with Mini Mouse in Las Vegas. You go to Disney for that. The shirtless guys trying to get people to dance with them was a new observation for me. They seem to get a lot of takers for some of the less acrobatic moves.

Tonight’s sunset.

I was back at Sam’s Town around five and home shortly after that. I only lost fifteen dollars to the downtown machines. There is always the risk of spending a lot more when you have wait too long for the shuttle. This time everything worked out well. I will probably drive downtown and park in one of the garages some night before I leave the area to see the upgraded Viva Vision LED light canopy. It is now much brighter and is even visible during the daylight hours.

Visiting the Birds

Wednesday January 22nd 2020

The weather outside was great today. Inside, I seemed to have a black cloud hovering above my head. Lots of little things went wrong this morning. I had to spend a few minutes fussing with my cell phone to get it to start charging. Two hours later I had a charged phone again. While waiting for the phone I had to figure out why I wasn’t getting a full flow of water into my RV. To get enough flow and pressure for my morning shower I had to use my internal tank and pump. The problem must have been with the RV Park’s plumbing, because the problem went away before I found a cause. Several other smaller annoyances also took time to chase down or work around.

This afternoon I escaped to my local happy place, the Clark County Wetlands Park. It was a nice quiet day at the park. The workers had finished removing the grass and reeds from one of the ponds. The sun now reaches some of the areas that were previously in the shade. The turtles have taken over the rock the Great Blue Heron was using for fishing. I spotted the heron in a tree back from the edge of the pond watching everything. I also saw a couple of new birds that I haven’t identified yet.

How many turtles can you get on one rock? There were one or two on all the other exposed rocks in the pond.
“I’m ready for my closeup. Is this my good side?”
“The turtles invaded my fishing rock. I wonder when they’re going to get back in the water?”
It was making a lot of noise, but I’m not sure what kind of bird it is.
This road runner stopped long enough for me to get a nice picture.
Another unknown bird.

I spent more time at the park than usual, but covered a lot less ground. Several times I sat on the benches beside the trails and ponds just watching nature at work. By the time I got back to my RV home the black cloud over my head seems to have lifted. The high number of little things going wrong has subsided for now.